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Eye Styes – What They Are and How to Treat Them

You may have had a bump on your eyelid before and didn’t know how it got there. It could even have hurt when you closed your eye or when you blinked. While there can be several possible causes for a bump on the eyelid, eye sties are some of the most common causes for this symptom.


What Is an Eye Stye?

A stye, according to the [National Library of Medicine], occurs when an oil gland on the edge of the eyelid near the eyelashes becomes blocked and inflamed. This usually happens because bacteria get into the oil gland. A stye can look like a red bump that sticks out from the eyelid. It might even look similar to a pimple.

Sties can hurt, too. They often feel tender and painful if you touch them. They might hurt if you blink or close your eye because the stye is being rubbed by the other parts of your eyelid. It’s possible to have more than one stye at once.


How Does an Eye Stye Happen?

An eye stye can occur if you touch your eyes a lot when your hands are dirty. It can also happen when you use makeup that is old or expired or if you leave your makeup on while you’re sleeping ([Mayo Clinic]). Failing to disinfect your contacts or wash your hands before putting them in is another way you could contract an eye stye.

Eye sties are caused by a specific type of bacterium called staphylococcus. People who have blepharitis, which is a type of chronic inflammation that occurs on the edge of the eyelid, are more prone to experiencing sties. In addition, those who suffer from rosacea also have an increased risk factor for sties.


How Can I Prevent an Eye Stye?

The best way to prevent yourself from getting an eye stye is to always wash your hands before ever touching your eyes, whether it’s to put on makeup or to put in your contacts. Also, take good care of the products that go on or around your eyes such as makeup, contact lenses, and glasses. Try not to use the products that belong to other people such as contacts or makeup. You never know what bacteria might be lurking there.


How Can I Treat an Eye Stye?

Most of the time, an eye stye can be treated with a warm compress. Get a hand towel or compress wet and warm and hold it to your eye for several minutes. If you do this over and over, the stye will become smaller and eventually drain. In some cases, an eye stye will drain on its own. However, it can be so painful to experience this issue that using a warm compress is better because it speeds up the process.

You may want to take over-the-counter pain medications for the treatment of your eye stye if it is very painful. In most cases, though, it will not last very long. However, sties can sometimes become a chronic issue, so if you get one, it is possible that you will experience more over time.


When Should I See a Doctor for Eye Stye Treatment?

If an eye stye is very big, very painful, and has lasted a long time, it might have become a chalazion, which is a stye that has become infected ([NLM]). Your doctor may need to take a look at a stye that has lasted more than a few days or so because it may have become a chalazion during that time.

You can sometimes treat a chalazion at home, but your doctor may also recommend removing it with surgery. Whatever you do, you should NEVER try to squeeze or pop an eye stye, whether it has become a chalazion or not.


Contact us at CareCube today to find out how we can help with your eye stye or chalazion.

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